February 22, 2013

Porn addiction drives cycle of low self-esteem

A need for a boost for the ego, more than sexual urges, may drive the behavior of pornography addicts.

In a recent online post, education expert Jonathan Doyle argues that pornography has a powerful relationship with low self-esteem.

“In all the years I have delivered live seminars on the topic of porn addiction, I have never had someone come up to me and tell me how wonderful pornography has been for them and how much it has helped their relationships,” said Doyle, founder of Stopusingpornography.com, which provides paid online programs and free articles on porn addiction and how to get help.

“What we do find is a trail of personal pain and damaged capacity for genuine intimacy.”

Doyle believes that pornography has a circular relationship with low self-esteem. He argues that low self-esteem is often a driving force leading to porn addiction, but that low self-esteem also increases with heavy use.

“What we often find is that a porn addict is dealing with deep wounds of rejection and often childhood pain or trauma,” he said. “This lowered level of self-esteem often leads a person into exploring pornography as a source of release. The high levels of dopamine secreted in the brain can provide short-term positive feelings which remove feelings of low self-esteem, even if only briefly.”

Later, the feeling return even stronger, he said, as the addict feels worse due to concern about the content they have accessed or fears of being discovered.

“People need to know that they can get help for porn addiction,” he said. “There is so much they can learn and simple strategies to create a gradual process of change.”

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